The eminent director who created ‘The French Connection’ and the smash horror movie passed away on Monday at the age of 87.
William Friedkin, the director of The Exorcist, passed away on Monday at the age of 87. A number of his associates and lovers are paying respect to him.
The Exorcist will finally release a long-awaited sequel in October, while Friedkin’s picture The French Connection is famous for having what is arguably the greatest automobile chase in movie history.
The Exorcist: Believer actor Ellen Burstyn, who also appeared in The Exorcist, paid tribute to the director in a statement: “My buddy Bill Friedkin was an original; clever, sophisticated, bold, and enormously gifted. On the set, he was able to let things go if he saw something better developing because he was clear about what he wanted, willing to do whatever it took to obtain it. Without a question, he was brilliant.
In a statement, Jason Blum, whose Blumhouse produced the Exorcist sequel trilogy, said, “I am personally obliged to William Friedkin and grieved by his loss. He altered the way directors handled making horror movies more than any other filmmaker, as well as how horror movies were seen by the general public. We are incredibly appreciative for the body of work he has left behind and deeply heartbroken to learn of his passing.
The Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson recounted a moment in his career that involved William Friedkin: “It was an honor to have multiple in-depth Twitter conversations with William Friedkin. He also told one of my producers that he watched and appreciated The Black Phone by way of his wife, which is a gesture I will always appreciate. Two of the best movies ever made are The Exorcist and Sorcerer.
I got to visit him at his place this year, & told him what an effect SORCERER was on Phil & me, wrote Chris Miller, who, along with creative partner Phil Lord, released Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse in June. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a master class in tension and isn’t about a wizard, but rather about delivering TNT through the jungle.
Lesli Linka Glatter, president of the Directors Guild, paid tribute to him in a statement, calling him “a master of storytelling across multiple genres. His aptitude for creating atmosphere and building tension broke convention and he was one of the key influences in the New Hollywood era of director-driven filmmaking.” The Exorcist continues to serve as the benchmark for horror even now, and The French Connection, for which he received the DGA Feature Film Award, was the classic thriller.
In a 2017 episode of the show, The Simpsons creator Al Jean revealed a picture of the filmmaker’s work. William Friedkin was one of my all-time favorite filmmakers, and working with him was a true joy. An icon and a genius,” wrote Jean on X.
The movie director was referred to by Elijah Wood as “a true cinematic master whose influence will continue to extend forever.”